NEW YORK (Reuters) — A gauge of global shares gained and was just shy of a record while the dollar moved off earlier lows on Wednesday as further positive COVID-19 vaccine news helped temper concerns about rising infection rates and related economic damage.
On Wall Street, Pfizer shares gained 2.14% after the drugmaker said its COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective and the company would apply for emergency U.S. authorization within days.
Pfizer's announcement came on the heels of a similar report from Moderna's on the effectiveness of its vaccine.
But the Dow showed a stronger move higher, as Boeing climbed 1.53% after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ended the flight ban on the planemaker's 737 MAX jet.
A better than expected earnings report from Target, up 1.5285%, also helped eased concerns about a slowing economy.
"With earnings announcements coming in better than expected from the retail space and the positive news on Boeing, it should drive interest in cyclicals," said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth, New York.
"It is sort of a mad rush because the thinking is that the economy is going to be in better shape six months to a year from now."
A report on U.S. homebuilding showed the housing market continues to be a bright spot even as other parts of the economy are showing signs of strain from rising coronavirus cases.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 96.17 points, or 0.32%, to 29,879.52, the S&P 500 gained 5.33 points, or 0.15%, to 3,614.86 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 12.45 points, or 0.1%, to 11,886.89.
After a sluggish start, as a round of takeover deals helped offset concerns over fresh lockdown measures in the region.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.41% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.19%.
While the U.S. dollar moved off its earlier lows following the housing data, the greenback was still on pace for its fifth straight decline as the Pfizer news gave investors an appetite for some risk taking.
The dollar index fell 0.167%, with the euro up 0.06% to $1.1868.
The weaker dollar also helped lift Sterling, along with hopes Britain will be able to secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union before its departure from the EU's customs union and single market in January. Sterling was last trading at $1.3305, up 0.48% on the day.
The increased risk appetite on the vaccine news also helped oil prices advance, along with hopes OPEC and its allies will delay a planned increase in oil output.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 2/32 in price to yield 0.8652%, from 0.872% late on Tuesday as investors weighed the vaccine news against the ability of the economy to rebound amid rising cases.
U.S. crude recently rose 0.82% to $41.77 per barrel and Brent was at $44.27, up 1.19% on the day.
Safe haven gold, meanwhile, added 0.2% to $1,881.92 an ounce. U.S. gold futures % to $1,884.50 an ounce.
(Additional reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru)
© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020